COVID-19 Update

Since it is currently not safe to meet in-person, all Odyssey Project activities take place remotely. For more information please contact Rebecca Amato, director of teaching and learning, at rebecca.amato@ilhumanities.org.

If you are interested in applying to the Odyssey Project for the 2021-2022 academic year, which will begin in August of 2021, please fill out the application here. Si se desea aplicar a nuestro programa en español, Proyecto Odisea, por favor visite este enlace: haga clic aquí.

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Although we were unable to celebrate in person due to public health restrictions, please join us in congratulating the Odyssey Project Class of 2020:

Alberta Craig
Alisha Webster
Alisha Williams
Althea A. Fowler-Miller
Amanda McKenzie
Andrea Lowe
Anna Tracy
Anthony Williams
Audrey Forrest
Barbara Ann Jimerson
Bernita Winters
Beth Nicholls
Brady Safford
Carlita Dabbs
Chamberlon Clark
Cheryl Mance
Colleen Curry
Courtney Kay
Crystal Madinah
Haro Fuentes
Jazmin Bernal
Jessica Bernal
Jessie Padilla
Jesus Carrillo
Jose Cornejo
José Pérez
José Sandoval
Josephine Horace-Jackson
Kahari Blackburn
Karen Alvarez
Kenyana (Tasha) Johnson
Kim Redmond
Kimberly Buckmaster
Larry Queen
Lavenia Malone
Luz Zavala
Marcus Rogers
Margaret Taiwo
Maria Beltran
Marti Price
Mary Trina Juárez
Milo Bosh
Mireille Uwase
Nora Taylor
Pamela Davis
Paxton Murphy
Rebecca Taylor
Rodney Jones
Satchel Stokes
Shenae Morgan
Sofía Portillo
Sylvia Fedrick
Vincent Romero

The Odyssey Project

Students enrolled in The Odyssey Project take courses in literature, philosophy, U.S. history, art history, and critical thinking and writing from August through April. Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn college credits in the humanities (4 credits each in HUM 110 and HUM 111) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. All credits earned are fully transferrable to accredited colleges and universities.

The Odyssey Project also offers a second-year course in both English and Spanish for students who are interested in continuing their education in the humanities while earning additional college credits (3 credits in HUM 210) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Currently, courses are offered via Zoom. When in-person classes resume, they take place in the Chicago neighborhoods of Greater Grand Crossing, Austin, and Rogers Park. The Spanish-language courses will take place in a Southwest Side neighborhood still to be determined. The Odyssey Project is part of the national network of Clemente Courses in the Humanities and is offered in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Chicago and with support from The University of Chicago’s Civic Knowledge Project, the Seabury Foundation, and Northwestern University’s Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Eligibility and Guidelines

If you are interested in applying to the Odyssey Project for the 2021-2022 academic year, which will begin in August of 2021, please fill out the application here. Si se desea aplicar a nuestro programa en español, Proyecto Odisea, por favor visite este enlace: haga clic aquí.

To qualify for The Odyssey Project:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Read at an adult level. We do a lot of reading in the program, so being able to read a newspaper in English (or in Spanish for the Spanish Course) is a good measure of reading readiness for this course.
  • Live at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline (see the application for income guidelines).
  • You DO NOT currently have a four-year college degree (B.A./B.S.).
  • You CAN join the Odyssey Project if you have outstanding student loans and student loans in default or owe money to a college. We DO NOT use Federal Financial Aid Forms.
  • You CAN join the Odyssey Project if you have not completed your high school degree.

We consider special circumstances if you do not qualify based on the above criteria, so please contact us and/or add a note to your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

The First Year Course

The first-year course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the humanities through the study of philosophy, art history, literature, U.S. history, and critical thinking and writing. In addition to work in the classroom, students will also have the opportunity to see plays, visit museums, and attend public lectures.

Classes meet twice a week in the evenings from late-August to late-April, and are offered in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing, Austin, and Rogers Park neighborhoods. A Spanish version of the first year course is also offered in  a Southwest Side Chicago neighborhood. Upon successfully completing the first year course, students earn eight units of college credits in the humanities (4 credits each in HUM 110 and HUM 111) from University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Second Year Course

The second-year course is open to those students who have successfully completed the first-year course and wish to continue their study of the humanities. In the second-year course, students take one course that meets twice a week from late-August through to mid-December. Upon successful completion of the second year course, students earn an additional three units of college credit in the humanities (HUM 210) from University of Illinois at Chicago. Classes are held in downtown Chicago at the Illinois Humanities’ office (125 South Clark St, Suite 650).

El Proyecto Odisea (Spanish Language Course)

El Proyecto Odisea es un curso al nivel universitario para hispanohablantes, que consiste en cinco clases: Redacción y Pensamiento Crítico, Literatura, Historia, Filosofía e Historia de Arte. Las lecturas asignadas y la discusión en clase son en español. Las clases se reúnen de agosto a abril, dos veces por semana.. Los estudiantes que cumplan con todos los requisitos del curso recibirán 8 horas de crédito universitario.

Cada dos años ofrecemos el Curso de Segundo Año en Español, abierto a los estudiantes que han completado el nivel básico del Proyecto Odisea y que desean profundizar sus estudios de las humanidades. Los estudiantes tomarán dos cursos durante un semestre y se reunirán una vez por semana desde agosto hasta diciembre. Al completar exitosamente el curso, los estudiantes obtendrán 3 créditos universitarios adicionales.

Odyssey Project Faculty and Staff